Kyiv’s NSK Olimpiyskyi has been selected to host the 2018 UEFA Champions League final.
To be held on 26 May 2018, the final will be the first such decider played at the Olympic National Sports Complex in the Ukrainian capital. However, the stadium is no stranger to big occasions: Dynamo Kyiv took on Bayern München there in the 1975 UEFA Super Cup second leg, while it was also a venue in the 1980 Olympics and UEFA EURO 2012, staging five games including the final.
The decision was taken at Thursday’s UEFA Executive Committee meeting in Athens.
Factfile: NSK Olimpiyskyi
UEFA capacity: 68,000
Tenants: Dynamo Kyiv (big matches), Ukraine
Opened: August 1923 (reconstructed 1941, 1968, 1980, 1999, 2011)
• Built on the site of the 1913 All-Russian Exhibition in order to host the Second All-Ukrainian Spartakiad (or Games), the ground was opened as the Trotsky Red Stadium on 12 August 1923. Trotsky’s name was removed the next year, and the arena became home to Zheldor – now Lokomotiv – Kyiv.
• After Kyiv was restored as the Ukrainian capital in 1934, a decision was made to construct an adjacent Republican Stadium; however, the opening ceremony on 22 June 1941 was delayed due to the German invasion and not held until 1944 (though the occupiers did open it in 1942).
• Renamed the Central Stadium, the new facility was enlarged to a 100,000+ capacity in the 1960s and incorporated into a larger sports complex. A crowd of 102,000 watched Dynamo Kyiv clinch the 1975 UEFA Super Cup by beating Bayern 2-0 with two Oleh Blokhin goals.
• Another rebuild followed ahead of the 1980 Olympics, where the rebranded Republican Stadium staged seven matches including a quarter-final.
• Given its current name in 1996 after Ukrainian independence, it has been the national stadium and has been used by the Ukraine team as well as for big games involving local clubs and the Ukrainian Cup final.
• The present stadium was constructed in time for UEFA EURO 2012, where it hosted five fixtures including the final.